Home Education Advisory Council
New Hampshire Homeschooling Resources
In attendance: Chairman Elaine Rapp, George D'Orazio, Joseph Rega, Jackie Teague, Gerald Bourgeois, Rob Drye, Karen Tardiff, Don Jones, Paul Krohne, Pat Busselle, Michael Faiella.
Minutes for February and March were distributed and discussed. It was noted that both are dated February 7, 1994, whereas the minutes beginning, "Welcome Judy Pence from the NH Association of School Principals" should be dated February 7, 1995, while the minutes beginning, "Minutes of the February 7th meeting were discussed," should be dated March 7, 1995.
Elaine will write an annual report to the Commissioner of Education, and she and Rob Drye will present this report to the State Board of Education at their June 21st meeting in Lebanon. Paul Krohne suggested that a copy of the report be presented to the House Education Committtee so that they can be kept current on homeschooling matters.
Elaine asked Pat Busselle about House Bill 470 which would allow administrators to transfer students from one school to another in cases of "manifest educational hardship". Pat said that this bill is attempting to deal with situations where students are being harassed by other students.
Pat also discussed the bill permitting districts to create charter schools. Although much of the bill's language is ambiguous, it seems clear that homeschools cannot apply to be charter schools. Pat predicts that a charter school bill will clear the legislature.
Referring to a discussion at the March meeting, Pat said that homeschooled students are counted in the per capita charges to towns in regional school districts. She suggested that we look into having that changed.
There was some discussion whether an organization represented on the Council could send an alternate representative if the designated member could not attend, and whether such an alternate would have voting privileges. It was agreed that this may require a change in Council rules.
Department of Education Report: Jackie Teague reported that the count of homeschooled students in NH has risen to 2348, with a few new ones each week. She expects the annual total, which will be figured on July 1 for the previous year from now on, to be about 2500, an increase of about 500 from the previous year. Of this year's current total, 1946 students have superintendents as the participating agency, 396 use non-public schools, and 6 use the Department of Education. Jackie spoke of one parent whose notification was not accepted by the superintendent in Peterborough because the parent is a single, working mother, and the superintendent felt that the homeschool program could not be carried out, so the Department agreed to be the participating agency.
Karen Tardiff, representing the Non-public School Advisory Council, will be drafting a survey of non-public schools that agree to be participating agencies. She asked for suggestions about the survey, which she is modeling after the survey Jackie Teague sent out to superintendents. She will report on it at the next meeting.
Michael Faiella, as chairman of the subcommittee dealing with the Department survey of districts' homeschool policies, said he would prepare a preliminary report on the policies received so far for the next meeting.
Elaine passed around two letters from branches of the post-secondary technical system soliciting homeschoolers to take advantage of the educational opportunities there. Elaine agreed to respond to the institutions, indicating that their information had been passed on to the homeschool organizations through their representatives on the HEAC.
Prior to the next HEAC meeting Elaine will send to Council members a draft of three resolutions she suggested the Council should consider. They deal with the question of how many subjects need to be taught each year to each homeschooled child, how much time parents who withdraw their children from school during the school year have to submit complete notification information, and whether school districts are required to provide an evaluator of the homeschool program if the parent requests it.
Commissioner of Education Elizabeth Twomey plans to be present at the next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, May 2, 1995, from 3-5 PM. The meeting adjourned at 5PM.
Document source: New Hampshire Department of Education, hardcopy.